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aiming for asia. russian leaders open the apec summit in vladivostok as they folks their economic strategy on the east. welcome to nhk "newsline." russian officials have waited more than a decade to host their first apec economic summit. they've spent billions preparing for the event. delegates from 21 economies are seeing those preparations
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firsthand. they've gathered in vladivostok to talk about ways to promote closer economic ties and greater investment in the region. "newsline" will be covering the apec summit over the next five days. we'll also be taking a closer look at russia's asia-pacific strategy. nhk world's kaori nagao spoke to us earlier from vladivostok. >> reporter: hello, gene. the meeting happening here on russky island. what you see behind me is the bridge that spans the eastern bosphorous strait and connects here and also central vladivostok. apec foreign and trade ministers have started talks on wednesday. they discussed how to stabilize the food supply in the face of a global surge in grain prices. they agree to refrain from export controls and other protectionist measures. the ministers talked about apec's plan to lower tariffs on fast growing environmental related products to less than 5% by 2015.
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however, they couldn't agree on which products should get tariffs cuts. they'll continue that discussion on thursday. russian leaders began pushing to hold the summit here in vladivostok after joining the group in 1998. the city is the country's main gateway to markets in the asia-pacific region. and i had a look around vladivostok to see how it changed in leading up to this meeting. ahead of the apec forum, the russian government has carried out several major development projects around the city. [ cheers ] over the past five years, it has spent a total of 680 billion rubles, around $21 billion.
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it has built a new high speed railroad between the airport and the city center. until a month ago there was only road access between the city and the airport but now the airport express gives a direct connection. the new rail link is about 50 kilometers long. from the airport trains reach the city center in 48 minutes. a huge bridge opened in the city last month. it's three kilometers long and its highest pylons are 320 meters high. it is the world's largest cable-stayed bridge. this bririe leads us to russky island where apec's meetings are taking place. the leaders of 21 member are set to cross here to attend the
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summit. this bridge symbolizes russia's new eastern gate that opens to asia. three international convention centers have been built on the island, and more than ten buildings with accommodation facilities. this is the press center. journalists from around the world work here to report the latest development of the summit. after the apec forum meetings, the island will be used as the new campus of the national university. in the soviet era, the city looked very different. vladivostok was a naval port that served as the headquarters of the soviet pacific fleet. the city was veiled in secrecy, off limits not only to foreigners but ordinary russians, too. all that changed when president vladimir putin took power in
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2000. he drew up new strategy to revitalize russia's far east. vladivostok station is a terminal of trans-siberian railway. you can see many russian emblems, a two-headed eagle, one looking at the west, the other the east. it appears to portray today's russia which appears to aim to enhance its presence in both europe and asia. for russia, natural resources such as oil, iron ore and coal are strategic assets. produced in the russian far east and eastern siberia, they are carried by train to vladivostok port for export. compared to the 1990s, the volume of these exports has jumped three to four times. >> translator: the development is giving hope to vladivostok
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residents, especially the young. i want the city to become an asia-pacific hub. >> translator: i think it's good to improve infrastructure like making bridges. but i'm doubtful if we can be better off. >> reporter: nhk world's vladivostok bureau chief joins us now. you heard in reports that some people in vladivostok don't seem to be very happy with the city's development. why is that? >> i think the fruits of russia's growing economy haven't been fully distributed to people here. the highways around the city have been given a huge overhaul, but little has been done yet to develop downtown areas. seen from moscow, the far east is an extremely remote region. residents usually move away from this area if they find jobs in moscow.
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russians have long said this region needs a base where people and information are all available. russian leader are determined to develop vladivostok. their goal is to make it the gateway to the asia-pacific region. >> so president putin has shifted the focus to asia-pacific region, and is trying to secure the footing in this region. what's his ultimate goal? >> he's trying to raise the standard of living for people in the far east. the region accounts for about one-third russia's base territory but its industries crude oil as the nation's economy took a tumble. in fact, its population decreased by more than 1 million
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to about 6.4 millions. in contrast, neighboring northeast china has 100 million people. the relationship with this powerful neighbor could determine russia's future. so the putin administration is aiming to invigorate the far east by bringing capital and technology from fast growing asia-pacific nations. >> thank you. apec foreign and trade ministers will hold their second day of discussions on thursday, and then they will deliver the results. and we'll give you the details of that and also we'll plan to give you an in-depth report of energy policy.
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triumph turned to tragedy in canada following an election in the french-speaking province of quebec. a gunman opened fire during a victory speech by the leader of the separatist parti quebecois. the shooting happened as pq leader pauline marois was speaking. she had just won election as the premier. security whisked her from the stage. she wasn't hurt. police arrested a suspect. he reportedly shouted the english are waking up in french. quebec is unique in largely english-speaking canada. 80% of the province speaks french. the columbian government says it will begin peace talks next month. the two sides have been in conflict for nearly half a century. columbian president said talks with the forces of columbia started in the first half of october. he said the two sides have been
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on official contact. he announced in february that it was halting kidnappings and ready to hold peace negotiations. the rebel group has been engaged in terrorist activities. it calls for narrowing the wealth gap but it has weakened as the government has been putting pressure on the group through increased military action. the japanese government is working towards easing age for beef. raising the age limit would not pose a health hazard. japan banned imports of all beef in 2003. in 2005 japan resumed u.s. beef
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imports limiting the cattle to those of 20 months old or younger. the food safety commission's expert panel concluded that raising the age limit to 30 months would not pose risk to human health. the panel says no cases have been reported amongst cows born in the past ten years in the united states and tests show there is little possibility of pathogens forming in cows aged 30 months or younger. it has fallen to tenth place in the world's competitive economies. that's down one notch. the new ranking does reflect concerns over the country's massive debt as well as the sluggish economy. the world economic forum
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announced its annual ranking. the swiss based organization hosted the yearly davos conference where the world's political and economic leaders gather. the organization ranks the world's economies based on a survey of various factors, including business activity, education, medical services and also the labor market. it surveyed 144 countries and regions this year. now the forum did have praise for japan for its innovative technology, but japan lost points for the size of its national debt. it is about twice the size of the country's gross domestic product. switzerland held onto the top, singapore was second, finland climbed one notch to third place. the united states down two notches to seventh place. that's because of concerns over its weak economic base. china slipped to 29th place. the country was ranked three notches lower than last year due to an unfavorable evaluation of its financial markets.
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the record drought in the united states is causing prices to raise in japan. company officials say that cooking oil prices will go up by about 5%. it will be the third price increase this year. the increase is driven by soaring global prices for raw materials like soy beans and seed. consumers will have to be paying more than 50 cents more per kilogram of cooking oil than they paid at the beginning of the year. other japanese cooking oil manufacturers are also reportedly considering raising their prices. and gasoline prices at the pump in japan have gone up for a fourth straight week. tension in the middle east is pushing up crude oil prices. the oil research institute says as of monday the average price of regular gasoline was 147.7 yen per liter. that's about $1.902 higher than the previous week.
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an analyst says while uncertainties in the middle east persist, many investors do have a cautious outlook for the chinese economy, which is a major crude oil consumer, but the analyst says gasoline prices will likely move in a narrow range for the time being. here are the latest market figures.
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summer is still here. manufacturers are thinking of winter, christmas to be exact. they are showing off their latest products in a trade day. >> reporter: it's beginning to look a lot like christmas in one part of tokyo. there is a tree, lots of toys and a handful of santa girls. christmas is still more than 100 daze away. 51 toy makers are displaying more than 10,000 products at this trade show. the event is for buyers and sellers only. people who work in the toy industry are excited to see what's on offer. >> i came to check out all the cool new toys. >> reporter: the event is a chance for japanese toy manufacturers to show how they are adapting to changing times.
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>> translator: it's true that our market has been struggling because of a decrease in the number of children. but we have been making efforts to expand the market by developing toys targeting adults and using high technology. >> reporter: many toy manufacturers are trying to integrate smart phones with their products. >> this is called a smart pet. you can't interact with it as you can with a real dog but you can still get a reaction. users can feed these pets virtual food and make them come when called. manufacturers say children find these types of toys easy to use because their parents are exposing them to smart phones and tablet computers.
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>> translator: it has become a favorite toy with families and people who are interested in having pets. we will start selling this within the year within the u.s. and uk. this book is aimed at japanese parents who want to expose children to english at a young age. it teaches kids how to pronounce basic english words. then there are toys that only require dexterity and a bit of imagination. nano block has become a hit in japan and abroad. manufacturers sell packs of pieces that can build specific landmarks. experts say adults are showing more interest in this product than children. more than 80% of these toys are currently produced in china but given the increase in chinese labor costs manufacturers are
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looking elsewhere in asia. >> translator: we have to consider the risk of basing production in one country. companies are attempting to diversify their plants, looking at countries such as thailand, the philippines, vietnam and myanmar. >> reporter: santa claus won't start delivering toys for a few months but the elves are doing what they can to make sure the gifts will delight and inspire. tokyo is not known for its agriculture, but hundreds of years ago in the edo period locals grew their own vegetables. now a group is trying to bring back that long-lost produce and
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they're finding success, so much so that edo-tokyo vegetables are getting rave reviews on international restaurant guide books. nhk world has the story. >> translator: this is good. >> translator: i've never had anything like it. >> reporter: these people are taking a bite from the past. the edo-tokyo vegetable place is the hotel restaurant's tribute to historical tokyo cuisine. it's the first of its kind and offered only for a limited time. what makes the dish so special? rare vegetables. one of them is even used for this confection. >> translator: i can't believe it's a vegetable. it makes a great dessert. >> reporter: it looks like a stretched out pumpkin and smells like a honey dew melon, but it's
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actually a vegetable called honden gourd. it was popular during the edo period when sweets were hard to come by. >> translator: it has a nice, natural sweetness. >> reporter: these flavorful veggies were widely available in tokyo at the time. residents grew them right here in the city. but as tokyo got bigger and bigger, the farm lands disappeared and edo-tokyo vegetables began to fade from the scene. recently agriculture officials rediscovered some seeds of edo period veggies and people began growing and distributing them in small amounts. >> translator: i am proud to offer a dish with such rare vegetable. >> reporter: obtaining these won't always be easy with such a limited supply, but the hotel plans to continue offering them in seasonal dishes. more people are getting on board the movement to bring back these long-lost veggies. in the edo period people raved
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about these egg plants. they used to be grown right here in this area but now there are no farms, not even a gardening facility. so people had to get creative. locals found an unusual way to reproduce what's known as the phantom eggplant. residents in this tokyo neighborhood are harvesting the phantom or tarajima egg plants in small flower beds. round shape, shiny coat, and rich flavor. those are what set it apart from modern day eggplant. the vegetable is being revived thanks to some dedicated local business people at the tarajima eggplant revival project. one of them is mr. sakomoto. his family runs a snack shop. >> translator: my brother is obsessed with those egg plants, even when he's supposed to be
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working he slips out to water them. >> reporter: sakomoto and the other volunteers don't have any farming experience, but they're passionate about growing the egg plants in their own neighborhood. >> translator: we want, first of all, for locals to discover these vegetables, then we want our businesses to use them to create something new. that's what we're going for. >> reporter: these shop owners are taking the lead. they're experimenting with the eggplant to create new dishes. the vegetable has even inspired the neighborhood's new mascot. >> translator: tastes great. >> reporter: the interest in edo-tokyo vegetables isn't about harvesting and eating rare plants, it's about a community coming together to revive something that was once forgotten. rina nakano, nhk world, tokyo.
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for an update on the weather forecast here's mai shoji. a lot of disturbances. we are talking 50 millimeters in an hour we will see in patches of that. the good news is rain will probably bring temperatures down. a little bit of relief in that heat will be retreating for a couple of days but back into the weekend it will be into the 30s with those temperatures.
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here for the weekend actually in the contour region and across much of western japan looking at wet and unstable chances of thunderstorms will be on the rise there, as well. even tornadic activity cannot be ruled out. so you should really be watching out for the southern weather changes especially in the afternoon and evening hours. behind this front we have a high pressure system that is predominant over the korea spence lu peninsula as well as much of china. let's take a look at a video from thailand. northern thailand has endured a marathon of wet weather. the department alerted numerous provinces in advance of the downpours to be cautious of flash floods. flash flooding hit after nearly 1 meter of rain fell in one area. meanwhile the land pine reservoir was forced to release
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levels after there was a surge. the rains will continue to be active across thailand and yet more heavy down pours will likely be throughout the rest of the wek. things will be on going with the rain and bangkok looking at 31 for a temperature. we are looking at low 30s in tokyo well above average for the high. in and around mongolia there are places hitting the freezing point for your low temperatures especially in the overnight hours. moving to the americas let's talk about the tropical storm leslie. the system will be energized and becoming a hurricane status. before approaching and making
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landfall possibly around saturday night hours local time here will be a hurricane status. not only directly effecting these areas with stormy conditions but also storm surges and rip currents in dangerous levels. an area of low pressure system with the associated cold front will be sweeping across and the heavy rain will be traveling towards the canadian maritimes. stronger cold front behind that so oklahoma, wisconsin, kansas these are the areas that could be targeted with some severe thunderstorms. temperature-wise we are looking at oklahoma city at 40 degrees. still sizzling hot here. houston at 36 degrees and los angeles hitting 30, as well. here is your extended forecast.
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we'll be back with more updates in 30 minutes. i'm gene otani in tokyo.
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Newsline 30min
KCSMMHZ September 5, 2012 6:00am-6:30am PDT

NEWSLINE updates viewers with the latest hard news every hour, covering world events and business-related news, as well as providing global weather forecasts.

TOPIC FREQUENCY Vladivostok 13, Apec 9, Russia 8, Tokyo 8, Nhk 5, China 4, Thailand 3, Newsline 2, Oklahoma 2, Moscow 2, Canada 2, Quebec 2, The Island 1, The Nation 1, To Russky Island 1, Putin Administration 1, Kaori Nagao 1, Houston 1, Pauline Marois 1, Vladimir Putin 1
Duration 00:30:00
Rating TV-PG
Scanned in San Francisco, CA, USA
Source Off-Air Channel 43
Tuner Channel 43 (647 MHz)
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Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 704
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